Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

This is an Apartment Building in my old city.  There are two sections to this building that has a fire rated separation down the center of the building.  Each section has a center stairway in the front with two apartments on each floor (one to the left and one to the right of the stairway).  As indicated in the rear view, each apartment has a rear balcony with a fire escape stairway. There are a total of 10 apartments in each section for a total of 20 apartments in the building.

Each Apartment  is approximately 700 Sq ft. with 2 bedrooms (see floor plan). 


What would your “plan” be for searching this building?  Include starting point, and subsequent search “path”, type of search conducted and any other fine points. 

Below is a picture of the Video.  There is a shot of side "C" in the video. 

Here is the link to the video:

Views: 1061


You need to be a member of Fire Engineering Training Community to add comments!

Join Fire Engineering Training Community

Comment by Skip Coleman on February 2, 2014 at 11:28am

Good comments and I will.

Comment by Justin Renner on February 2, 2014 at 11:04am
On scene search size up would show a 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor involved structure. Smoke out of the sky light relays that the common hallway is compromised. With heavy fire in the living room (front) the bedrooms and kitchen are between the fire and the rear exit. I normally would not stuff a two man hose team and a three man search crew into the same apartment but I think this would be a good exception to that rule. There is a high probability that if there are victims in the fire apartment they would have been overcome on their way towards the fire escape. Having all three search members to get victim/victims down a fire escape will help out. With smoke comprimising the common hallway I like the idea of a truck company setting up on the "C" side. It is a good idea due to the size of the structure alone but it will also aide in the removal of concious and unconcious victims until the main stairwell and "A" side exit can be used. I would then focus my search attention in the oposite 2nd floor apartment. Then moving up to the 3rd and 4rth floor my main foucus will be on the search of "B" side apartments. If the inside apartment doors are intacked and locked I will likely pass them up untill my return trip back down or for a secondary crew. "B" side apartments should be forced and search with a standard oriented search. The officer can stage the search from the living room while the FF's search the bedrooms and kitchen area, the bathroom should be and easy peek(with a TIC) and swipe by the officer. As stated by Jon, I too look foward to these "posts" every month, please keep them coming.
Comment by Jon Nickerson on January 23, 2014 at 10:07am

Yes sir. I have found if you have a strong "base" plan, that makes it easier to make decisions in the field faster. I love these articles, and I wish more people would comment on them, as its a good learning tool for everyone. Everyone can take something away from it and it allows people to see how others do things.

Comment by Skip Coleman on January 22, 2014 at 5:48pm
Great start Jon. Are you getting comfortable with "developing a search plan".
Comment by Jon Nickerson on January 22, 2014 at 3:31pm

I feel like every one of my answers is going to start out by saying water on the fire is the first course of action. There is a good amount of fire pushing out of division 2 A/B side. I would start my search by entering the front door and working my way to the fire floor with the hoseline crew. Let the attack crew take the apt to the left while we search the one on the right. Depending on how fast knockdown occurs would take us to our next option of either searching the fire room or continuing to division 3, 4. I think as far as rescue operations are concerned, a ladder truck on the AB side of the structure would be ideal to allow for pick offs with the aerial. Check for extension into the other side of the building sooner than later. As far as search technique, I think most would agree that TIC directed/lead search might be the first option in this scenario.

Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2024   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service